BRONZEVILLE— One of Bronzeville’s most popular cafes is back in business after a 10-month hiatus.
Sip & Savor’s Rosenwald outpost, 4648 S. Michigan Ave., celebrated its grand reopening May 7 with brunch and live music. Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle stopped by to show their support to owner Trez Pugh III, who said the two women were an integral part of getting his chain of coffee shops off the ground.
Pugh opened the Rosenwald location in January 2019 and it quickly became a community gathering space. Like other businesses, Sip & Savor took a hit early in the pandemic and struggled to regain its financial footing until Pugh was forced to close last July.
Pugh owns three other locations in Hyde Park, Bronzeville and suburban Matteson.
“We were trying to stay open as long as we could but we couldn’t sustain all four locations. Since the [Rosenwald] was the newest one and we were still building our customer base, we’d have to repurpose it. We shut down to the general public last year and started hosting popups for other businesses,” said Pugh.
Between hosting the pop-ups and renting the space out for events, Pugh managed to stay afloat while helping other budding entrepreneurs get their foot in the door. Sip & Savor also began hosting a bimonthly series, “The Building Blocks of Business,” to provide local entrepreneurs with resources, advice and a place to network.
More than 50 businesses participated in the cafe popups, said Whitney Hampton, Sip and Savor’s vice president of strategic planning.
“It speaks to who Trez is in general that he’s always thinking about how to help the next person. We as a company were suffering and we knew a bunch of other companies were suffering. The good thing is that Sip & Savor had an established brand for 17 years. We had the foundation necessary to keep going, but other businesses didn’t. This allowed us to keep going and allowed them to make a profit,” Hampton said.
While the menu hasn’t changed, patrons can expect a calendar of events to keep them entertained, including a weekly karaoke night. Pugh said he hopes to add more live music days as well.
“One of the reasons it’s so important that we get to know you is that we to know what resources you need. If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re struggling with financing, or you need real estate, or a connection with a PR person we can let you know when we’re hosting an event that can help,” Hampton said.
Sip & Savor is open 7 a.m – 12 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: